Active shooter response programs teach in a linear format that is designed so that the student can learn the knowledge in a logical order. The ALICE program uses Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Escape, The Department of Homeland Security encourages you to RUN HIDE FIGHT!!! The program I teach talks about Evade,Barricade Respond. What is missed in the national discussion about these programs is that none of them are designed to follow a specific order.
In a chaotic spree killer situation people are going to react as individuals first. They are going to react based on their ability to process information,their experience,training,physical abilities and mindset. Each response will be individual and unique. Any training program that assumes that a coordinated group response is guaranteed is setting victims up for failure. While group action may occur it will only occur after individuals have decided what is best for them.
Evasion is the act of getting somewhere the killer can not reach us. This is always the best option. However based on the immediate situation it might not be the first option. It is very likely an individual might have to barricade, arm themselves, then run. One may have to run to a position of cover that is short of actually exiting,barricade and fight only to run again.
Barricading is the act of making it harder for the killer to get to us. It can involve piling heavy furniture in front of or locking the door. Covering windows,turning off the lights, being quiet. Hiding is a form of barricading. What ever action you can take to make it harder for the killer to get to you is barricading.
Respond is any act we can do to to keep the killer from hurting us. Should you choose to respond you need to do it like your life depends on it, because it does. You want to attack eyes,joints, vulnerable areas of the anatomy and shut down the attackers "computer". This is not the time for compassion or squeamishness. This is life or death and you need to mentally prepare yourself for that. If the attacker has a firearm as long as you are not in front of the muzzle it can't hurt you. Redirect it, look for opportunities or lulls in fire. Malfunctions or reloads are a good time to act.
All of these things may happen simultaneously or not at all depending on the situation. When you are developing an active shooter response plan you need to develop a defense in depth. Make a minefield for the attacker to hinder their ability to hurt you. Constantly look to improve your situation and arm yourself with improvised weapons. Your plan will evolve based on updated information.
Try this 10 second drill wherever you go
Where are the exits (traditional and non traditional)
Who looks like a threat?
Who looks like they will help me?
Who looks like they won't?
What improvised weapons do I see?
What plausible scenarios might happen here?
Be safe and keep training